Meat Industry Excellence says it will give farmers a ''road
map for reform'' of the red meat sector through what it
promises will be a ''grunty and robust'' business plan.
The group, which was formed last year to push for reform in
the industry, has received funding from Beef and Lamb New
Zealand for the plan.
The $219,000 project included MIE contracting independent
consulting firms to research improved procurement models,
flow-on effects on industry profitability and communicating
those findings to the sector.
Farmers voted in support of an MIE remit at Beef and Lamb
NZ's annual meeting in March seeking funding support for its
Yesterday, Beef and Lamb NZ's chairman James Parsons said the
board had worked with MIE since the vote and were satisfied a
''well thought out'' business plan had been developed.
In his address to MIE's annual meeting in Wellington
yesterday, chairman John McCarthy said the group had
consulted widely, not only with farmers but also with
business leaders from both within and outside the
In the main, there had been ''overwhelming support'' as to
the need to reform the industry model.
The current model was defined by ''patch protection and
rampant individuality at virtually every level''.
''It is epitomised by destructive competition practices,
especially around procurement and indeed in the marketing
area, recently highlighted by Welsh farmer protests around
our product positioning,'' he said.
The biggest opposition had come from within the industry,
which was ''understandable behaviour''.
''There is a saying that turkeys don't wish for Christmas.
"It is a fact that, if we get our way, there will be
attrition, especially at board and senior management level.
''Our focus is around adding value and cutting cost. It makes
no sense to have a number of chief executives when one will
do the trick.
"Less is more if we are to genuinely address the structural
problems endemic in this industry,'' Mr McCarthy said.
This year would be ''make or break'' and farmers would be
given the road map for reform through the credible and
substantiated findings of the business plan, he said.
''We will identify the size of the prize. We will seek farmer
support, at the end of the day we, the farmers, will get what
we wish for, we will get the future we deserve.
''Where we go from here is up to farmers. MIE is putting up
the choices,'' he said.
Mr Parsons said farmer and broad industry support would be
important to complete the project.
MIE would need strong engagement from farmers and the broader
industry to ensure quality and informed analysis was
undertaken, he said.